Mobile Phones and Budget Apps are a Match Made in Heaven

Before online budget apps, making a budget on your computer was hardly less hassle than keeping a budget by hand in a ledger. But with today's online budget apps, it's never been easier to create a customized budget that's tailored to your actual life. Most people know that making a budget is step one toward greater financial security and freedom, and many people take that step of setting up a budget using a convenient online app like Mint.

But simply making a budget isn't enough. Unless you have absolutely predictable income and expenses, budgets have to be reviewed and modified periodically so that they still reflect your life. And making a budget means nothing if you don't stick to it. Problem is, a budget on your home computer doesn't really do you any good when you're out and about, facing spending choices.

Mobile Apps Mean Fewer Excuses

Mobile budget apps can mean the difference between making a budget and forgetting about it and making a budget and sticking to it. Today you can get an app for just about anything, and budgeting is no exception. Budget apps connected to online budgeting software can put an end to excuses about spending because you didn't realize your account balance was that low. With mobile budget apps, you can find out your account status wherever you are, so you can avoid overspending or losing track of where the cash in your pocket goes.

Next step: Sign up for Mint and create a budget that goes wherever you go.

Motivation in Your Pocket

Controlling spending is only one part of budgeting. Setting savings goals and reaching them is equally as important. It doesn't matter if you're saving for a $100 pair of shoes or a $20,000 car. Budget apps can help keep you motivated toward your savings goals when you're tempted to slack off.

With a mobile budget app, you can be reminded at any time that you're within striking distance of your savings goal, and this can prompt you to behave more responsibly with your money in order to reach your goal quicker. One 2013 study found that people who received monthly reminders about savings goals had higher account balances and were more likely to reach their savings goals. And those reminders work best when they focus on the specifics of savings goals like what they're for and how far you have to go.

Mobile budget apps are perfect for this task, because we use mobile devices to remind us of any number of obligations, from dentist appointments to carpooling duties. Having your phone alert you that you're near your credit card limit, or that you're $47 away from your savings goal can be just the push you need to manage money better.

How Mint's Mobile App Keeps You on Track

Top online budgeting software Mint offers free mobile budget apps for iOS devices, Androids, and Windows 8 phones that let you take the power of Mint with you. Once you set up a budget and savings goals in Mint, the app connects with your Mint account so you can check on your budget, investments, or savings goals on the go. Named the Best Finance App by the 1st Annual App Awards and TIME Magazine's 50 Best iPhone Apps of 2011, Mint lets you make financial decisions at the point of purchase, check balances, and enter pending transactions to get updated account balances anytime and anywhere.

Don't Leave Your Budget Behind

Making a budget is something everyone should do. But don't leave your budget at home when you're out spending money. Having your financial information at your fingertips empowers you to make smart financial choices on a day-to-day basis, and that's a huge part of smart budgeting.

Mint makes it easy by offering free budget apps for your mobile devices. You can set up automatic bill reminders by SMS, and alerts that let you know if you're approaching your credit card limits or if your bank account balance falls below a threshold that you set. Having all that power in the palm of your hand makes it that much more likely you'll stick with your budget and improve your financial situation.

Making a budget is not the onerous, error-prone task it used to be. Free online services like Mint let you set up a budget in minutes and customize that budget so that it reflects your exact financial situation. Mobile budget apps like those offered by Mint ensure that you're able to put your budget to work for you wherever you go.

Next step: Sign up for Mint and create a budget that goes wherever you go.